In the tram, on my way to pick up my little girls from school, I was staring out of the window. The stormy weather, dark grey clouds and little spots of blue skies were changing much quicker than I could follow them.
I was thinking about a sentence that came to my mind as a reaction to someone on Instagram who labeled a film he had seen, as cinematic masturbation. As usual I reacted a thousand times to his comment on the film but all my reactions stayed in my head. The sentence “All that is man made is masturbation” kept repeating in my head.
While pondering about this I heard a mumbling that attracted my attention. A boy I think, 14 or 15 years old was staring out of the window. He had a beautiful face covered with signs of puberty. He was quietly mumbling, words and sounds which didn’t make sense to me.
He then pulled his sleeves as if he wanted to cover his fingers. While still mumbling and making sounds he put his sleeves in his mouth, covered his face in his hands en kept pulling and biting his sleeves. The further we would get to the last stop the more he would move as if he didn’t want to reach his destination.
When we were almost arriving, just before the tram would stop, he stood up looking left and right moving as if he was looking for the best option to exit. He left the tram, he walked as if he didn’t want to but someone was pushing him. His bag fell, he picked it up and it fell again. The second time he waited before he would pick his bag up. He looked at it for a few moments, picked it up and as if someone pushed him to walk again, he started moving.
I had to make a turn to reach the school. He went the opposite direction. I kept wondering, where is he heading to? Was there someone with him invisible to my eyes? He seemed so unreal, as if he had walked out of a film or as if he was a character in a book.
Having started training Martial Arts again after 20 years, the first lesson was both confronting and comforting. It felt as if I had finally landed in the warm arms of my love for M.A. But I also realised that my body is now 20 years older.
On my third day of training, I felt like I was flying… and I for sure did fly ending up flat on the floor. I had twisted my ankle so badly that I could not get up. So a lesson learned the hard way. I guess in this case it was fine to push my limits, even though it would have been smarter to be aware of my body’s capabilities.
It seems to be a pattern appearing more often in my life. Paralysing enthusiasm. It could be an idea for a film, for writing something or maybe an abstract thought. No matter what it is that opens up in my brain and gets me excited I lose control. Ending up flat on the floor not being able to get up for some time.
When I was a child I used to jump when I was excited. I would jump so much that I would get tired without having set a step towards whatever I was thrilled about.
Nowadays I only jump in my head and get myself exhausted. Until a few weeks ago. I had a dream. I remember that there was a cook, there were two wolves and a tiger. The tiger jumped towards me moving slow motion in the air I was watching it and wondering if it was the tiger moving in slow motion or was it the way I was looking at him. I wanted to raise my hand when I realised that the two wolves were halfway eating my arms. The cook dressed in extremely clean white uniform, with an immaculate white apron over his humongous belly, was stirring in a pan as if he was in love.
The next day when I woke up, I thought about taming my enthusiasm whenever it shows up and do something with my life.
IFFR has become one of those events in which I feel comfortable. At home. After almost 20 years it has become like a family member. Sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it. Somehow I always care about it. And maybe exactly for that reason I am critical about this event.
IFFR seems to care a lot about the numbers of visitors and the audience. Something you would expect at a commercial movie theater and not necessarily at a filmfestival wanting to be a platform for new and unusual voices. There is lots of attention and money spent on the packaging, on how the festival presents itself and how to reach more and more people.
In content of the programming I miss a vision. What is presented as a vision is more of a marketing slogan than it would be a vision. So the question arises; how could a filmfestival without a vision be able to be a platform for new and unusual voices?
Of course there are many people who watch films which they would not expect to exist. This audience is generally used to commercial films and/or major arthouse films in movie theaters. Nothing wrong with that.
Yet I do think that this audience is an easy target. Show them films with a little hint of exotic or strangeness and you will have them talk about it to their friends and colleagues.
But where are those films which anyone who would watch them, would come out of theater thinking that he or she has gone through some kind of transformation. That you could not tell exactly what the film is about because your brain is still chewing on it. The feeling that you have met someone so extraordinary that you will never forget him or her. Those films are rare indeed but I am sure they are still being made. So why is IFFR not capable of getting those films into their programme?
Or maybe I just missed all the jewels. That also is a possibility. Nevertheless I enjoy being at IFFR. I enjoy watching films and meeting colleagues and friends who often seem to have the same selection of films as I do.
#”Hashtag no filter” this program was a bit out of my comfort zone. Diving into and discovering a world that till last year did not really interest me. Social media and films exploring the possibilities of online platforms like youtube are attracting my attention more and more. I am curious about communication and art expressions within this world. There was one film in particular which I found interesting in the way it was done. A film based on an online known figure #Stacy #Hardy a #ratgirl. But when I found out that the film was not made by the girl in the film but by a filmmaker who had fictionalised the whole thing I was a bit disappointed.
Another film in this program was an interesting concept of making a film based on spam emails. The first part of the film when the filmmaker is looking for the right cast, was very interesting. When the chosen cast acts out the scenes from the spam emails it lost its power in my opinion.
I don’t know why but someone who I did not know so well, and he did not know me so well had recommended me to watch #Caphernaum.
Unbelievable how unforgivable cruel a human being can portray the misery of others and not be ashamed of showing off her “good intentions”. I am amazed that this film has won the #Cannes Palme d’or. The only mastery of this film is having picked a story that would make your heart break even if you would read 2 sentences about it. And maybe to make your audience even be more broken you could place a picture next to it.
Instead there is a two hour film made with its enormous costs to tell us what? To make us have pity and take action? I don’t believe that any action which arises from pity is a constructive one. To have pity and help is to make yourself feel good about being a good person. Wanting to prove that you care about others. Helping out of pity is not helping the other but helping yourself.
Caphernaum at the very core of the story cries on one hand the stupidity and laziness of some people and on the other hand the power of the capitalist system we all together have been supporting since it ever existed. So what is it all about when Nadine Labaki shows up at Cannes filmfestival in her beautiful dress, all made up and glamorous while presenting this film?
To me it is mind blowing that such films are being treated as if they are masterpieces while in fact they are nothing but showing us that we should be happy that we are not in their shoes. There is nothing more to get out of this film.
Not an impressive dramatic structure but one full of flaws and not a groundbreaking cinematic language. But there is an amazing cast which from what I understood played a role not far from their own lives.
Social Media is becoming more and more interesting to me. I used to kind of hate it. I think I just did not want to believe that it would become so extremely dominant in our lives. But well, I guess I was naive. Now that it is there like a huge monster eating up eveyone’s attention and concentration I have geared myself as a warrior to be confronted with the giant of our time.
When I by accident or maybe on purpose step on an ant I am never shaken by it, not even a bit.